I'm trying to read "The Well Trained Mind" again and it's making more sense to me now that my children are older. So I've started some booklets for M and G. They both have a Reading book that is a memorization book on the flip side. That way if they read a lot or memorize a lot, at some point they meet and we start a new book. I don't like it when you have a book that is only half filled...
In the reading part we'll draw pictures and I'll write their narration of the story from books we read together. I was really excited about this idea of teaching them to summarize the story. I never learned that skill. I don't know what I was doing in school but I don't remember learning a lot of things. I must have been so spaced out.
In the memorization part I'll write poems, times tables, other things I want them to be able to recite. So far M has a poem about Peas and Honey. G has the poem "Day is Done" and he sings it. It's the sweetest rendition ever. Next is his times table and some other fun with math.
I also made a book for G for copy and dictation work. He's addicted to writing in cursive. I know I was very interested in cursive about that same age. P is disgusted with cursive and if he were the sort of parent to say so, he'd tell G it's dumb and a waste of time. After a few months of G doing all his homework in cursive I realized I should help him out on that. So I'm writing out his spelling words in cursive to give him a model. I'm also writing out proverbs I got from this website, for G to copy into his copy work book.
Dictation is exciting to me. You start with simple sentences with familiar words. "The cat is orange." You say it, and have them repeat it to you. Then you say it, and have them repeat it again. Then they write it. You check their work, with markings and explanation. Then they write it again. This sounds so heavy handed. "College prep in 1st grade!" But it's teaching them how to listen and write things down. That is a really important life skill. Plus, with G being deaf, I think it's pretty amazing to teach him to listen and write things down. He does get a lot of benefit from his CI. And I'm so happy to become aware of this way to teach him this skill.